April 29, 2005

15th annual B.C. student auto skills competition to be held May 7th

Burnaby, B.C. – The 2005 BCAA, BCIT and B.C. Ford Dealers’ Student Auto Skills Competition will take place May 7 at the B.C. Institute of Technology in Burnaby, B.C.

The competition features the top 20 high school automotive students from across B.C. – representing schools in Abbotsford, Aldergrove,Coquitlam, Dawson Creek, Duncan, Kimberley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver and Terrace.

The 10 two-student teams will be required to diagnose and repair
identical malfunctions deliberately installed in vehicles. The first team to successfully start and road test their vehicle is declared the winner. Each student on the top three teams will receive an automotive
scholarship to the post secondary institution of their choice and an open scholarship to BCIT’s Auto Motive Power program. The winning school’s automotive department will also be presented with a Ford Taurus courtesy of MSA Ford, Abbotsford and Steve Marshall Ford, Nanaimo.

The annual competition, now in its 15th year, is aimed at encouraging
careers in the automotive industry and raising awareness about the current and predicted shortage of qualified technical workers in B.C. The Automotive Industries Association of Canada estimates that over the course of the next few years, 50 per cent of automotive service technicians will begin to retire at a higher rate than new technicians entering the industry. The Business Council of B.C. reports that in the decade between 1998 and 2008, 8,000 skilled technicians will be required to fill positions in the automotive trades sector – 4,000 of them new positions – making it the fourth largest employer among the major trades in B.C.

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